I believe the topic of leadership is the most misunderstood concept in business because no one can seemingly pin down a perfect definition except for the thousands of experts who have written about this topic in the past 2,000 years.
In the past decade, hundreds and hundreds of books have been published on leadership. Don’t forget the experts who teach about the type of leader you need to be:
- democratic leader
- servant leader
- strategic leader
- coaching leader
- empathetic leader
- commanding leader
- visionary leader
Which leadership style is right? And, what is leadership?
Leadership is About Direction
Many leadership courses start with picking the right team and building a strong culture. Leaders engage in this act, but is it leadership? Or, is this the starting point for leadership?
Leadership styles are also addressed in most training courses. But which one is right?
I’m reminded of the Old Testament leader named Moses who was flawed, apprehensive, a poor delegator, and couldn’t speak well. But Moses was good at one thing. With some divine providence, he said, “We’re going that way.”
If we follow his story closely, he was tapped on the shoulder through a burning bush who told this C-player his mission.
“Hey God, don’t you believe in Topgrading?” I guess I better not go there. The bigger point here is that Moses would have flunked most leadership courses. He learned along the way. But he never forgot the most essential truth to leadership. “Boys and girls, we’re going that way.”
Leaders have to make countless decisions each day, small and large. Good leaders, bad leaders–the common thread is that they decide what to do. The most important decision is always, “We’re going in that direction.”
Accordingly, G3CFO believes leadership starts with a primary imperative–the direction in which the company is headed, the decision of all decisions.
The First Pillar of CEO Excellence
One of the best book management books I read in 2022 was CEO Excellence. It was so good that I interviewed the author.
According to the authors, the first pillar of CEO excellence is setting direction. Team or organizational alignment follows.
In short, leadership starts with direction. I realize that can be hard. If needed, find a sounding board that you know, like, and trust if you are lacking clarity with the direction you should be taking your business.